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Lewdness With a Child in Nevada

Charges of Lewdness with a Child have been mentioned in two recent news articles.  In the most recent article in June 2020 a 35 year old man was arrested and charged with this crime.  In another article from May 2020 , a Metro officer was arrested by Henderson Police and charged with the same crime.

Governing Law and Penalties for conviction

The Nevada law which defines the crime of Lewdness with a Child and establishes its penalties is found in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Chapter 201 Section 230.  Penalties under this law vary according to the age of the victim and the age of the perpetrator.

If the perpetrator is over the age of 18 and is convicted of Lewdness with a Child under the age of 14, the crime is considered a Category A Felony with punishments of Life in State Prison, with possibility of parole after 10 years and the defendant may be fined up to $10,000.

If convicted of Lewdness with a Child who is 14 or 15, the crime of considered a Category B Felony with punishments of 1 year to Life in State Prison and the defendant may be fined up to $10,000.

For repeat offenders of this charge, whether the charges were in Nevada or another state, the crime is considered a Category A Felony, with punishments of life in State Prison with no possibility of parole.

Additionally, the convicted party will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Legal Definition of Lewdness with a Child

NRS 201.230 defines Lewdness with a Child as a person who is 18 years old or older, who willfully  and lewdly touches a person (other than sexual assault) who is less than 16 years old with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or child.  This is a crime that does not involve sexual penetration, which under the law includes sexual intercourse, anal sex, oral sex, penetration with a finger, or penetration with an object.  Activities which involve sexual penetration of the victim are defined as sexual assault, or statutory rape.

How to defend against such charges

Each case is different and will require a defense tailored to the situation of that case, but in general, the defenses against charges of Lewdness with a Child revolve around the following legal considerations:

Are the charges true?  In many cases the allegations charged against the person are just not true.  In many cases, due to a hostile divorce or breakup, children may be prompted by one parent or the other to falsely accuse the other parent or estranged partner of various acts, out of an intent to gain advantage in divorce proceedings or out of a sense of vindictiveness.  Establishing the actual facts of the case is one of the most basic legal defense functions.  If the charges are faulty or contain allegations which cannot be established as facts, the charges must be dismissed.

Was there sexual intent in the act?  Per the law defining the crime, the perpetrator must have acted willfully and lewdly with the intent to gratify their own or the victim’s sexual desires.  If the prosecutor cannot prove that the defendant acted with intent as specified in the law, the case must be dismissed.

What was the age of the victim at the time of the charged act?  The law is very specific as to the age of the victim at the time of the alleged acts.  If the facts of the case do not support the charges, the case must be dismissed.

In general, the prosecution must prove their charges “beyond a reasonable doubt” the highest standard of proof in the legal system.  If reasonable doubt exists or the prosecutor is unable to prove charges according to this standard, a jury is required to acquit the defendant of those charges.

The Defenders provides clear and strong legal defense against criminal charges

The lawyers of The Defenders are extremely experienced and have a record of successfully defending clients who are charged with a variety of criminal acts.  Upon accepting your case, they will investigate the allegations and begin the structure a defense to the charges in a way that will clearly and strongly advocate for the protection of your rights under the law.  If you’ve been charged with a criminal act, call us today to discuss you potential case at (702) 333-3333 or click the green button at the bottom of the page to text us your information.

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